Quirky emporium still thriving

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 September, 2012, 11:04am

As one of Horizon Plaza's original tenants, Shambala's Andy Robbins believes his eclectic emporium helped put the shopping centre on the map. Shambala opened its doors in the pioneer days of 1996 when Horizon Plaza was largely empty or still being used for warehousing.

Offering some of the centre's most unique items, the store is a treasure trove of quirky, antique and conversation-starting pieces, from some small enough to fit in your hand to those that could fill a room.

At 25,000 sq ft, Shambala is overflowing with knick-knacks and larger furniture items. It also features a barista-led cafe, perfect for a quick rest after touring the vast second-floor space.

Robbins points to a few gems: an old Burmese teahouse with stained glass, antique roll-top desks, hammered copper pots, dining tables made from colourful Banca-boat timbers, an old Himalayan carved window frame made into a mirror, bookcases, meditation pillows and singing bowls.

The shop also carries the Starbay Black Walnut collection, which includes vanity mirrors, club bars and desks, all crafted in a mid-century classic Parisian style.

"Shambala brings it all back home," Robbins says." We answer to an essential need for authenticity. We all feel comfortable around nice things made to last forever - those that exhibit practical design, using solid, genuine material - things that have intrinsic value, things that show you the hand of the artist."

Shambala also prides itself on its eco-awareness and is one of the greenest shops in Horizon Plaza, if not Hong Kong. It holds silver status from the Sustainable Furnishings Council and is an important antique dealer.

"Antiques are the most sustainable furniture of all," Robbins says. "Our new pieces are made using reclaimed architectural elements from old buildings and boats, and all our new timber is from plantations and is documented."